For some reason, the WordPress app on my iPod has taken to crashing if I use it too long. It crashed last night while uploaded yesterday’s post, so I tried again and it uploaded the post twice [update: double posts since deleted]. Plus the way it crashes tends to mean that I can’t go back in and edit typos and other mistakes [update: typos since corrected to the best of my ability]. I typed that the zip-line of 2,500 metres was “split up into XXXXX separate lines.” That is how I make a note to myself to check something before putting it online. The assumption being that when I copy and paste the text, I will notice that the capital Xs and deal with the detail that needs dealing with. I forgot to do that. Which is a rather long way of saying it should’ve said “ten separate lines.”
Staying at Hickatee Cottages, a place run by Brits, I was treated to an excellent breakfast of coffee, juice and lovely home-made bread slathered in delicious, delicious, oh-so-delicious Marmite. Down here in the south of Belize, it gets hot and humid, so it’s important to get up and make the most of the less humid early mornings. That was not a problem, as soon after dinner and the accompanying beers, I was exhausted and was asleep as my head hit the pillow.
Taking it easy, after ruin-climbing and zip-lining and a four hour journey over the last couple of days, I used one of the Hickatee bicycles and had a leisurely ride into the town. Butterflies fluttered by, I rode past a dead snake, and a tiny alive snake that scurried across the road in front of my wheels. At one point a whole load of ants were crossing the road. They’d weaved a fairly straight path across the road to and from the jungle on either side. Dark patches of black were a car width apart where a vehicle had crushed a load of ants, but their brothers (and sisters..? Do girl ants do the work, too, or do they just sit around drinking White Russians and watching telenovellas?) kept on trucking, skirting either side of the carnage. But the ants had nothing visible with them. They weren’t like leaf cutter ants where you see them National Geographicin’ tiny bits of leaf around in their gobs. I think I found a colony of what are known as Idiot Ants. Just walking across a road for no damn reason. Or they may just have been playing chicken. Or collectively trying to understand the “why did the chicken cross the road?” jokes.
The town seems pretty much as I remember it from being here in 2008; a couple of restaurants have closed, a few have opened, but that’s about all the difference I noticed. Hungry, stopped at a tiny Chinese place called Zhuo Sheng. An incredibly miserable looking woman slid her flip flops across the floor as slowly as possible and dropped a battered, photocopied menu on the table. Chicken fried rice and a beer, please. While my meal was being prepared I watched the Chinese soap opera that was blaring on the telly in the corner. Language and settings seem to be the only difference from other soap operas. Plus the incidental music was that instrument that Western movies use to indicate that the action is in China, which was interesting. Lazy Western cliches are at least correct. The food arrived. I took the bottle of habanero sauce and give it a couple of shakes over the rice. And rather than the normal drip, it splashed everywhere. They’d watered it down. Everywhere down here, cutlery comes wrapped in a paper napkin. At this place, it came in a sheet of toilet paper. So far so bad. The rice was awful; tasted like it had originally been cooked at some point during the last week and reheated. And there were less vegetables in there than in a Pot Noodle. I poked at the fried shapes of animal on the plate. I think they just fried up some chicken bones. I took two forks of the rice, pushed aside the plate, chugged down the beer and for the first time in a few years, paid without leaving a tip. Next stop, a store to buy some Cheetos and a chocolate bar.